BCCI kept out of World Cup anniversary party

The 25th anniversary celebrations of India's 1983 World Cup-winning campaign will not involve the Board of Control for Cricket in India in any capacity. It is reported that the BCCI was reluctant to get involved because a few members of that squad, including the captain Kapil Dev, have shifted to the rival Indian Cricket league (ICL), which the board has refused to recognise.

The private celebrations have been organised by Professional Management Group, a firm run by Sunil Gavaskar, who was also a member of the squad. Speaking to the Indian Express, Kapil said it was highly unlikely the BCCI would even be invited.

"I'm not hurt that the board is not organising the function," Kapil told the paper. "Why should I be hurt? The important thing is not whether the board is backing off because of me or the ICL, but whether we will invite the board members or not. Right now, it doesn't look like that we'll interested in calling them. This is an event by Sunny [Gavaskar] and I'm helping him with it."

The BCCI also confirmed they weren't doing anything to honour the cricketers. "Let them do whatever they're doing," Ratnakar Shetty, the BCCI's chief administrative officer, said. "We haven't got any invitation from them for any intimation."

The BCCI's non involvement in the celebrations was always on the cards ever since former players like Kapil, Madan Lal and Balwinder Sandhu joined the ICL. The board responded by revoking pensions to all former players linked to the league. Kapil was sacked as chairman of the BCCI-run National Cricket Academy after accepting the position as the chairman of the ICL's executive board.

As part of the celebrations, all squad members will be involved in four six-a-side matches across the country next month. Dubai will host a dinner function on June 19 before the big party at the Long Room at Lord's six days later, where the team pulled off the victory. The celebrations will include a music programme and a golf tournament. Several of the West Indies players who featured in that match are expected to attend.